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Makenzie Wethington broke her pelvis, spine, shoulder, several ribs and a tooth in the fall

Paragliding: Thermal riders risk all for the thrill of flight

Paragliding has become more competitive, but pilots are putting their lives on the line in search for victory.

Adventure Travel: Celestial bodies

It sounds pretty simple: you strap yourself in, pull the starter cord and zoom skywards. But that's not all there is to flying a microlight, as Eric Kendall finds out

Adventure travel: The Icarus syndrome, or how to join the bird club

Run for your life, then jump off a mountain.

Skydiver feared drowned

A British skydiver feared drowned in Thailand after a freak wind blew him out to sea is a veteran with more than 700 jumps behind him, his parachute club said last night.

The Princess Diana Memorial Balloon, and other good uses for a lot of hot air

The skies are becoming just as crowded with round-the-world balloonists as Mount Everest is with climbing expeditions. So for those who can't tell one shiny balloon attempt from another, here is a complete run-down of all those expeditions at present hoping to achieve the first non-stop hot air balloon trip round the world.

Outdoor: View to a thrill

By the time you've realised just how minimally the plane is constructed, it's too late: you're trapped, about to find out what it feels like to be fired into the sky. Eric Kendall goes gliding.

Freefall skydiver tells of miracle escape

A British parachutist described yesterday how he survived after his chute became entangled with another skydiver 2,000ft above ground.

Wayward balloon set for another uplifting experience

Richard Branson's flyaway balloon canopy (above) was yesterday under guard in Algeria - and tied to a tree in case it tried to escape again, writes Charles Arthur. Last night Mr Branson's co-pilot, Per Lindstrand, was preparing to go there and take it back by aircraft to the airbase outside Marrakesh, Morocco, where it escaped its moorings after a gust broke one of the securing ropes on Tuesday. The team hope to launch a fresh attempt on the non-stop ballooning record - and particularly to circumnavigate the world - at the weekend. `Hopefully we will be ready by Sunday if the weather conditions are good and the balloon is not too damaged,' Mr Branson said. Four other teams are aiming for the record.

Three skydivers die in polar jump

Three parachutists died yesterday when a jump over the South Pole went tragically wrong. Investigators are trying to establish how the experienced skydivers apparently failed to deploy their chutes in time. One theory is that they may have suffered a "white out" because of the expanse of snow below them and not realised how near they were to the ground.

Books: Hitting the G-spot

Marina Benjamin takes a rollercoaster ride without brakes; Gravity by Joseph Lanza Quartet, pounds 10

X-treme: High as a kite

Skydiving is no longer the preserve of the pros. New equipment now allows first- timers to head for the skies within hours of starting out. And rooted metropolitans can even do it within the confines of the M25

Branson to stage new balloon bid

Virgin boss Richard Branson said yesterday that he is planning to make another attempt to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon.

Elderly woman dies in hot-air balloon tragedy

An elderly woman was killed and 12 people were injured yesterday when a hot air balloon crashed into power lines and its passenger basket plunged 30ft to the ground before burst ing into flames.

The man who fell to earth and lived to tell the tale

A Briton had a "miracle" escape when he survived a terrifying 5,000ft plunge to the ground after his parachute failed to open during a free fall jump.

Look before you leap

You should think about insurance for dangerous pursuits, writes Edmund Tirbutt
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